January, 30, 2017. Monday. Did I tell you I had a drink yesterday? Oh yeah, 70% of a jameson and ginger ale. I slept like shit and woke up swollen, more swollen than usual. I am getting chunky. I need to weigh myself, I will get back to you on how chunky. Whatever, 12 more weeks and then I will be craving a fucking vegetable more often than not. Woke up, felt like shit kind of. No more drinks for me during treatment. Doesn’t bother me one bit. Showered I think, no I did, trying to wash the swollen-ness off. Got to work at 10:15 am. Just needed to sleep. Good day, I worked a full day until 6:15 pm, yahoo. I picked up chinese food on the way home, LOL TALK ABOUT SWOLLEN-NESS. Kim and I were going to grab Korean with Dad and Nate that night but I didn’t get home until 7:30-ish so to drive down about a half hour more, I just couldn’t. So we had that, it was quite delicious. I got home to a congratulatory (early) gift from Hillary from the popcorn factory with YUMMY things. Thanks Hillz. I also received a large package from a former coworker. It had a three page handwritten letter, spoke to my soul. She sent me gifts for THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED ME and a book for myself. I was so touched, thank you Davette! You have all really taught me exactly how I want to be when someone I know gets sick. Watched some cooking shows then Vanderpump Rules, yas. Kim’s cousin, and whom I consider mine, Angie, is coming over in a few weeks to binge watch old seasons of VP Rules, I CANNOT WAIT! Kim shall make us brunch, thanks honey, and we shall relax and enjoy. Life is good. Tomorrow is chemo, here we go again.
January 31, 2017. Tuesday. Woke up around 8:30 am. Relaxed. I wanted to get a run in before treatment. Not sure why, but, I felt good the other day and want to get into a regular schedule and challenged myself to do it. It was snowing!!! I love running in the snow and rain, I don’t know why. It was pretty fecking cold out though. I decided I am going to run 0.05 miles more each time I run. I used to have a goal of running 0.5 miles more to get my stamina up and mileage but shit, that would just be too much. So I accomplished 0.55 miles this time. I felt goooooood. Then I wrote this on out porch, hehe.
I was in the house by 10 am and Kim was in the shower. We were going to our first treatment at Basking Ridge MSK and I was excited but damn, it was close. The downfall of going into NYC for treatment is also the positive, the commute in allows me to think, absorb, talk it out and be ready for treatment. This was around the corner and it was time. I went to take a shower, got out, and the tears started. I think for a few reasons. It was the first time my dad wasn’t coming to treatment with me. I think that was 75% of it. Change is hard for me. My dad is one of my best friends, as is Kim, but it was all new. New place, new partner in crime, new doctors, ugh. Gives me weird feelings. I kept crying while getting ready. While packing some food in the kitchen Kim saw me and embraced me for 5 minutes and I let it out, then I took 0.5 mg of ativan, cuz girl needs to calmmmmm down. I don’t take it during the day ever other than chemo day, I only take it at night. I think I may have taken it one other time but I just won’t allow myself to do it. I will go for a run or do deep breathing. Have I taught you that yet? Oxygen is a natural drug. Breathe in five seconds, hold five seconds, breathe out five seconds, repeat 10 times. It works! Also, I just had to google, “the difference between breathe and breath” not because of chemo but because sometimes I am really not that smart.
We left the house around 10:45 am and showed up right on time at 11:10 am, crazy. I packed leftover chinese, LOL. Got blood work done. They wanted to use my new port but since I have never used it before, other than day of surgery and it was already all prepared and open for delivery, I was just nervous. I did not have any numbing cream (thanks Lauren!) or ice to prepare for it and I was just not ready. So they took a finger stick and got my CBC and then the nurse upstairs was going to get the metabolic panel. I was called into the office to see my new nurse and MD. I miss Karen and Larry. I wonder how he would feel if he knew I called him Larry. Actually, I might call him Larry in person, awkward. I call Jesus, Larry. Oh well, I have cancer. I have to write them thank you letters, I keep forgetting. My to-do list is very long. Side note: if I haven’t mentioned you on here for what you have done for me or what you have sent me, I am trying to keep a list and there will be thank you’s and if I forget all together; chemo, cancer and I am very sorry. Just know that whatever you have done for me HAS TOUCHED MY SOUL. I will never forget it.
There weren’t many people there and it was snowing so I got called in at 11:30 am just when I was setting up to do some work. I met with the nurse. She was very nice. Reviewed things, medications I needed renewed and I asked her about the numbing cream. They don’t have a pharmacy in house like NY but she said she had samples. She put some on for me which made me feel good. We spoke about how it was my last AC treatment. I was talking to Hillary about my feelings towards it. I don’t want to offend anyone, but it was almost like I was in an abusive relationship and I don’t want it to be over. I can see why people stay almost? How fucked up is that. It’s like; I cried before because it’s scary and sad, but once I am there it is not that bad, I get drugged up, people are nice, I have someone who loves me with me and then it’s over and I feel pretty darn good and I really think it’s working, why would I want to stop? LIKE THAT’S AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. Because better shit is around the corner. Taxol and herceptin. They both do some sort of killing but herceptin latches on to the HER2 cells and tell them, nope, I am not something you want and they are like oh shit and then cannot grow and then they die. Hillary sent me a picture of her herceptin bottle that she was giving her HER2 cells, LIFE IS FUCKING CRAZY, AND THEY FUCKING DIED. She did it for a week and it decreased by 55%, I am doing it for 12 WEEKS. She’s meant to be my best friend for so many reasons, holy shit. I am cursing a lot, I am sorry.
I talked to the doctor. She is a bit more talkative than Larry. Larry comes in, feels my boobs, says, “ok kid, you’re doing great”, and that’s it. This doctor reviewed everything, talk about the taxol and the new side effects I will be feeling, talked about the mass in my pelvis that she wants me to see the gyno oncologist for………… wait what, I thought it wasn’t cancer. “Well, we do not think it is, it is a dermoid cyst we believe, but better safe than sorry”….. it’s always fucking something. Whatever, do whatever. Sometimes I like to hear less. She also said I should not go for my annual with the regular gyno because the cells will most likely be abnormal from the chemo treatment so there’s no point in getting a pap now. I mean if I have cancer there, it would have shown up right? Right. Whatever. She was nice. I miss Larry and Karen though. The new one’s will grow on me as well.
I got out of the meeting with the Dr. at 12:30 and in NY, they START making your treatment then, and then you have an hour and 45 minutes until you start chemo. I told Kim to go grab food, there was Chipotle around the corner and a few other options which is good for him and visitors. He left around 12:40 pm. I WAS CALLED IN AT 12:50 PM. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. This wasn’t supposed to happen, this isn’t how it is supposed to go, no, no, no, no. Grabbed all my stuff. Made my way in. I was in cubicle 10 looking directly out into the woods with the snow, it was quite nice. Although there was a clear partition between me and the person behind me which I found quite odd. There were 26 cubicles, not the same as NYC with private suites but it was better than I thought and the facility really is beautiful. I was the youngest person there by many years. This place treats all cancer while the NYC place only treated breast and I saw younger women. The man behind me was older and by the end of his treatment his oxygen levels were low and they were concerned and put a blanket on the clear partition. That might just have to be a new thing for me.
I got in and sat down. Tears were forming. Kim, where are you, Kim, Kim, Kim. I get a text, “want anything”… “no, I got called in, hurry, suite 10”. HURRYYYYYYYYYYY. My nurse came in, Lalkha, very cute filipino nurse, so sweet. She had the Apple watch. UGH I WANT IT SO BAD. I asked if she liked it, she said yes, as everyone does. Her father had blood cancer and she said, “you’re in this chair, you deserve it, just buy it”. Maybe I will Lalkha! Maybe I will! I do fucking deserve it. I just, I am not cheap, I just don’t consider my money in my savings account real money unless for emergencies, like for medical bills. Hillary is NUTS and I talk to her about it all the time, and apparently it really annoyed her because her birthday is coming up and she was going to ask her parents for an Apple watch TO GIVE TO ME. Like it may annoy her, but it’s mainly because she’s an amazing person and knows that in this time in my life, it would make me really happy. But like, no, Hillary, no, do not do that, you nutso bag. I will figure it out and I will be buying it, eventually, for real.
Kim showed up right before Lalkha wanted to put my port in, no like, I would have said we had to wait. She explained and drew a picture of how the port worked and I am so thankful for that. I knew deep down it would not have been a big deal. They just take a needle, pierce it into your skin and it goes into a hole that closes up around the needle and then they have access to your blood/vein. But shit, doing anything new is just exhausting. We had to wear masks so we didn’t breathe germs into it. I was starting to stare off and Kim knows that’s never a good sign. Tears started to fall and he got up immediately and was holding my hand. It was done in 5 seconds and it was not bad at all. I can be a real baby. AGAIN, it’s more of a release. The IV fluids were started, and it was time to settle in. Lalkha was talking about different things the facility offers. She said there is an RD there, I said oh, full time, she said yes, Erin. I was like wait what, Erin, is her last night Kenny? Yes it is. SHE WAS MY MENTOR DURING MY CANCER ROUNDS IN MY INTERNSHIP. SHOCKED. I asked her to see if she could come over, but I didn’t want her to tell her it was me right away, didn’t want it to be too shocking. She came right in, “of course I know, I am on Facebook!” and she of course probably saw me on her patent list. Gave me a big hug and we caught up for about 15 minutes. It was great to see a familiar face. I told her to stop in whenever she can. We went on with treatment. Anti-nausea meds, the last “red devil” and then the C portion and then it was over, 4 down 12 to go. Wow.
Kim and I were watching the food network during treatment of course and Ree Drummond was making this pizza.
So Kim wanted to make it. My philosophy for this round of chemo was, your lymph node is “gone”, your treatment is working, believe it, control your emotions, go to treatment then leave and go on with your life. So that I did. We went to Shoprite (thanks for the gift card Erin!) and then went to the local pizza place to get some fresh dough, best decision ever. Kim was also testing out a crock pot pizza, he got a crock pot for his birthday, lol. Hence, KK chubby. Although I didn’t eat it that night, my stomach was weird after the first pizza. The first pizza was goooooood though. Mmmm. We will be making it for my brother and dad on Thursday. We sat around, ate and then around 8 pm it was time for KK to go up to bed. I had a mini cry before bed, was just tired and you really just feel drugged and bleh. Between the steroid keeping you up, chest felt tight, stomach felt weird, body doesn’t feel your own, just bleh. Kim let me cry and gave me kisses then made me laugh. All better.Time for sleeps.
February 1, 2017. Wednesday. My eyes opened at 6 am, hello steroid. I slept until about 7 am, showered AGAIN. I do shower, I am not gross, I really don’t make that much odor. I don’t know, Aunt Allison and I were talking about it at Pat’s surprise party. You are either going to think I am gross or 100% agree with me. Hence the reason I tell you when I shower now, I think I am doing pretty good actually. Anyway, made my usual crave day post chemo, english muffin with PB and jelly, and 3 decardon pills. Mmmm. Packed water, ice tea lemonade and gatorade along with, oh, well I packed leftover pizza then forgot it on the counter, ugh, chemo brain. We had a meeting that day and the administrator brought in bagels with tuna, egg salad and yumminess so I grabbed those for lunch, I NEED PROTEIN. My albumin, which is an indictor of nutritional status, or used to be, it really isn’t anymore because it can be affected by so many thing, went from 4.9 to 4.1 since treatment started, CUZ I ONLY EAT CARBS. So I was happy to see this. I may have also grabbed a chocolate croissant thing. Hi. Meeting over, worked from 8:15 am – 2 pm, made some phone calls on the way home, connected with a new RD, same old. Mom came over with water and cheez-its, lifetime essential. Then I changed into PJ’s and got some more work done. I had some crockpot pizza for dinner, it was yummmmmmmy. Then I had this Chobani drink. I didn’t even realize how much protein was in it, 14 g, just what Kay needs! I had the peach flavor tonight, it was quite enjoyable. Kind of weird to drink your yogurt but by the end I liked it. We had 5 bananas turned black, I wanted to make banana bread but just wasn’t up for it. My famous line is, “tomorrow, I will do it tomorrow”, Kim replied with, “why do it tomorrow when you can do it today” and went off to make the banana bread. He ALSO made cinnamon sugar muffins during the day. WHEN I TELL YOU THIS KID DIDN’T COOK, damn. I’m a lucky broad.
Kim shaved his head again, about a weekly occurrence. Then he wanted to shave mine down to a 0.5. I’ve asked him to but he was never in the mood but today he was. The top of my head is pretty much completely bald while the back section is very patchy and probably about 3/4 of an inch long. I asked him to carve a heart back there but he just went in for the shave. It feels a lot better. Nice and short. I am pretty freakin’ bald though. Don’t hate it at all. Don’t love it like life long time but I don’t mind the experience at all. I always told myself when I got breast cancer, because like I said, I knew I would get it in my lifetime, I would get a Louis Vuitton scarf to look fabulous on my head. That shit is like $600, I have trouble buying an Apple watch for Christmas sake. Oh well. Maybe if I win the lottery. Head shaved, Kim washed it off in the sink because I refused to shower, yup. Then he moisturized it. Then it was time for bed, aka, FaceTime with Hills. Oh the stories this girl has, she could start a blog! Hehe. Asleep around 11:30 pm, working from home tomorrow, too much auditing needs to be done, I truly don’t mind. Night.
Top: Aunt Peg, me, Aunt Joan, mama
Bottom: dad, Nate, me, Kim